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Changing the culture of New Zealand's legal profession

13 June 2019

Since becoming New Zealand Law Society President two months ago I have spent a lot of time engaging with lawyers about the type of culture we want to have as a profession.

This has included speaking on culture at the Culture and System Change Symposium in Wellington, and at a South Auckland Meet the New NZLS President function.

The video at the end of this message includes footage from both the Culture Change Symposium at Wellington’s Piptitea Marae and footage from the South Auckland event which was held at Kayes Fletcher Walker - the office of the Manukau Crown Solicitor, Natalie Walker.

Image of A Chging the culture clip

It canvasses opinions from various members of the legal profession about the changes needed to the culture of our profession.

The issues that we are looking to tackle include workplace behaviour, gender and equality, sexual harassment and racism. These are difficult and hard issues, and everyone has their part to play in making change happen.

I am seeing a real appetite for that change to begin.

The South Auckland event attracted more than 130 lawyers, many of them with Pacific, Māori and Asian connections. Members of the judiciary who attended were His Honour Judge McNaughton and Her Honour Judge Moala.

We also had a big turn-out for the Symposium and there was much discussion and debate about how the future will look and all the things we need to do as individuals, and collectively as a profession, to make it happen.

To learn more, view this video which was produced by Chillbox Creative. You can watch it here.

Ngā mihi nui

Tiana Epati, President, New Zealand Law Society.

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Last updated on the 13th June 2019